Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
Buckeyetech
Posts: 173
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:11 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:40 am

E-4 replacement RFP originally slated for December has been delayed into next year. Personally, I feel this might be the death nail of this mission as DoD’s budget will continually get squeezed.

https://www.airforcemag.com/search-for- ... into-2021/
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 27675
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:50 am

Still say it will eventually be based on the 767-2C / KC-46 platform.
 
User avatar
Slug71
Posts: 1530
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:08 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:04 am

Stitch wrote:
Still say it will eventually be based on the 767-2C / KC-46 platform.


Agreed.
 
fsnuffer
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:38 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:23 pm

The 767-2C/KC-46 does not have the generator/lift capacity with only two engines to meet mission requirements. The AF is currently studying purchasing used 747-800 aircraft to fill the need.
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 27675
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:11 pm

fsnuffer wrote:
The 767-2C/KC-46 does not have the generator/lift capacity with only two engines to meet mission requirements.


That would run counter to USAF statements that a two-engine solution for the SAOC role would not only be viable, but preferred based on efficiency and availability.


fsnuffer wrote:
The AF is currently studying purchasing used 747-800 aircraft to fill the need.


Happen to have a link to this? All I could find with an Internet search is that the USAF was not worried about the 747-8 going out of production as it related to SAOC and the VC-25B.
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 4174
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:43 pm

fsnuffer wrote:
The 767-2C/KC-46 does not have the generator/lift capacity with only two engines to meet mission requirements. The AF is currently studying purchasing used 747-800 aircraft to fill the need.


Electric generation is not a problem. The both the 767 AWACs and 737 AEW&C require an enormous amount of energy to drive the radars.

The extra energy is obtained by using more powerful generators and use two per engine.

The one study that I am aware of where generating capacity is maxed out is when they try to put both an air search and a ground search radar on the same frame.

bt
 
texl1649
Posts: 1895
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:30 pm

With space-based communications at this point I don’t really understand how much value a widebody on orbit at 40K feet really offers. Certainly no need for an A380/747 size platform.
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 4174
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:39 pm

Well they did say they are looking at a distributed network. Relying strictly on space based system would again put all your eggs in one basket.

I would agree that a widebody would be too large a node and be too tempting a target. But since they already have the 767 tanker frame, its a natural option. The other option is the 737 size as much of there electronic architecture is already developed for the P-8A.

bt
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 4174
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:45 pm

Oh, there's one thing you can do with a wide body that you can't with a 737. You can hang a small wingman drone off the wings or the body centerline as a defensive measure and free up the fighters to do other duties.

For the P-8A you can fit 4 AA missiles or even smaller drones in the bomb bay for defensive purpose. If you can design a drone the size of a Tomahawk, you can mount it on the wing pylons.

bt
 
angad84
Posts: 2135
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:04 pm

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Wed Oct 07, 2020 5:20 am

bikerthai wrote:
The one study that I am aware of where generating capacity is maxed out is when they try to put both an air search and a ground search radar on the same frame.

bt

Saab has both A2A and A2G on the GlobalEye, although I am not sure both work simultaneously.
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 4174
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:38 am

angad84 wrote:
Saab has both A2A and A2G on the GlobalEye, although I am not sure both work simultaneously


Really depends on what you are trying to do. If you have two phased array systems, in theory, you can use both at the same time by regulating how many array you use for each function. :half:


bt
 
Buckeyetech
Posts: 173
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:11 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:30 am

Well, the USAF has now bought a brand new simulator for the E-4 fleet.


https://www.airforcemag.com/usaf-buys-f ... day-fleet/
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 27675
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:19 am

Well if they are buying a simulator, they are not in a hurry to replace these birds - or more accurately, they are probably not in a position to petition Congress for a couple dozen billion for a new fleet. :silly:

And if they do have another two decades of usable life in them, might as well keep them around.
 
User avatar
LyleLanley
Posts: 483
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:33 pm

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:19 am

Buckeyetech wrote:
Well, the USAF has now bought a brand new simulator for the E-4 fleet.


https://www.airforcemag.com/usaf-buys-f ... day-fleet/


If that’s the case, I give the E-4 program 2 weeks until program termination.
 
texl1649
Posts: 1895
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Thu Jan 07, 2021 2:14 pm

Somewhat related to this big replacement program, congress just made it much harder to send the E-8’s to the boneyard. I don’t have a big disagreement with this, as it seems like the USAF has really played around with the whole ABMS program with notional concepts/ideas.

To retire JSTARS platforms, the air force must now certify to Congress that it has identified a capability with sufficient capacity to replace the current fleet of 16 JSTARS aircraft. It must be in a manner that meets global combatant command (cocom) requirements and potential global basing locations for such capability. The USAF must also certify that such replacement delivers capabilities that are comparable, or superior, to those provided by JSTARS aircraft.

A critical Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on ABMS from April 2020 demonstrated that the USAF was unsure about what it wanted to do with the system, experts told Janes at the time. The USAF would likely acknowledge that it is taking an unconventional development approach with ABMS.

A pair of experts agreed that the FY 2021 NDAA strengthens the standard for the USAF to retire JSTARS platforms. Todd Harrison, director of the aerospace security project and defence budget analysis division at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) research institute in Washington, DC, told Janes


https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... quirements
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 4174
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Thu Jan 07, 2021 4:14 pm

Want a quick and cheap solution? Buy the P-8A without the anti-sub marine system and include the AAS radar. All the global basing, operation and deployment infrastructure are already in place.

bt
 
Buckeyetech
Posts: 173
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:11 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:11 am

Although the author of this article is REALLY trying to stretch the statements of the Air Force’s requirements for the SAOC to include used 747s, it does leave the door open for it. I still would be shocked if they actually chose them. I just hope these decisions aren’t being made by bureaucrats trying to push the Air Force into a decision that is made based on lobbyists in congress.



https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... 9-UayZNJm0
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 4174
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:12 am

Getting a used 747-8i should be cheap in the near future. I know the 747-400 would be more plentiful and much cheaper, but the 8i exists as a digital plane, thus making any mod work much easier.

bt
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 4174
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:29 am

If you think about it, a lot if the work to militarize a 747 is already done with the VC-25B. Electronic racks, militarized cockpit, EMI hardening and self in protection designs are done. Although much is also done for the KC-46, I don't think they have the extra generators and electronic rack design for that plane. The last rack I am aware of are the ones designed for the 767-AWACs ages ago.

There is literally nothing for the 777, so you have to start from scratch.

bt
 
User avatar
747classic
Posts: 3950
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:13 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:24 am

bikerthai wrote:
Getting a used 747-8i should be cheap in the near future. I know the 747-400 would be more plentiful and much cheaper, but the 8i exists as a digital plane, thus making any mod work much easier.

bt


At the moment two 747-8I are available (discounted) :

L/N1435, 747-830, 2011 built, LH ntu, for sale, owned by Boeing, only flight test hours, stored at VCV from June 2018.
L/N1446, 747-8JA , 2012 built, for sale, owned by a Saudia entity, stored in "green "condition in a hangar at BSL, < 100 hrs
 
User avatar
Phosphorus
Posts: 1304
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 11:38 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:58 am

747classic wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
Getting a used 747-8i should be cheap in the near future. I know the 747-400 would be more plentiful and much cheaper, but the 8i exists as a digital plane, thus making any mod work much easier.

bt


At the moment two 747-8I are available (discounted) :

L/N1435, 747-830, 2011 built, LH ntu, for sale, owned by Boeing, only flight test hours, stored at VCV from June 2018.
L/N1446, 747-8JA , 2012 built, for sale, owned by a Saudia entity, stored in "green "condition in a hangar at BSL, < 100 hrs


Indeed. Plus, if you announce "we buy pre-owned 747-8I", I guess Lufthansa and Korean Air would both bid. I don't know how many hours are on those frames, however.
 
User avatar
747classic
Posts: 3950
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:13 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:36 am

747classic wrote:

At the moment two 747-8I are available (discounted) :

L/N1435, 747-830, 2011 built, LH ntu, for sale, owned by Boeing, only flight test hours, stored at VCV from June 2018.
L/N1446, 747-8JA , 2012 built, for sale, owned by a Saudia entity, stored in "green "condition in a hangar at BSL, < 100 hrs


For L/N 1435, see : https://www.controller.com/listings/for ... 8/aircraft
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 4174
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:28 pm

Not sure on the Korean Air frames, but my money on the LH frames being very well maintained.

Boeing did not put much money into improving the 8i, so all the configurations should be very similar.

bt
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 27675
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:08 pm

Arguably it does make sense to buy L/N1435 and L/N1446 since, as noted, the VC-25B does provide a template for conversion. And I think in the current world environment we only really need two of them - one at Offutt for SAC Battle Staff and one at Andrews for the Secretary of Defense (or the President in a crisis).

I assume the "E-4C" would require in-flight refueling - I don't know if any design/study work was done on that for the VC-25B before the requirement was deleted or if it was decided from the start that they would not have IFR so no work was done.
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 4174
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:53 pm

Stitch wrote:
- I don't know if any design/study work was done on that for the VC-25B before the requirement was deleted or if it was decided from the start that they would not have IFR so no work was done.


They probably have an idea where to run the fuel lines with stay out zones. I doubt that they would have any details like joints, pumps and sensors worked out

bt
 
Elshad
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 8:24 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:20 pm

Isn’t the rejected Lufthansa frame oveweight or something? I thought that’s why they rejected it.
 
User avatar
Phosphorus
Posts: 1304
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 11:38 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:06 pm

Elshad wrote:
Isn’t the rejected Lufthansa frame oveweight or something? I thought that’s why they rejected it.

It's rumored to be slightly overweight, and it's confirmed to be somewhat different in terms of its maintenance regimen, from the other 19 Lufthansa frames. Apparently, the second point was sufficient for Lufthansa to dump it, and for Boeing to not to try apply penalties.

Now, if converted to military use, it would be a fairly unique aircraft, regardless of feedstock, the level of modification will be very significant, and number of frames in the batch (from this thread, one can surmise not more than four, no matter what) is not sufficiently large to make a difference.
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 27675
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:33 pm

Elshad wrote:
Isn’t the rejected Lufthansa frame oveweight or something? I thought that’s why they rejected it.


Supposedly it is significantly overweight due to Boeing losing track of where they put a few tons of ballast. Also, as the first 747-8 Intercontinental produced, it was used extensively for testing of the type, including cabin systems such as air conditioning, galley and lighting equipment. Boeing and Lufthansa also negotiated keeping the frame in Boeing's testing fleet longer than planned to complete all the testing as well as testing fixes to issues identified during the test and certification program. In the end, this resulted in the frame having a significantly different Maintenance Schedule compared to the rest of LH's 747-8 fleet, as Phosphorus noted.

In the end, Lufthansa decided to not take up the frame because of the above and later decided that the fleet of 19 was sufficient and did not exercise an option to acquire a replacement frame.
 
User avatar
747classic
Posts: 3950
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:13 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:51 pm

LH rejected L/N1435 already at the end of 2012 due "non standard "configuration. However later (during 2014), the aircraft was refurbished to production standard, for a future sale.

Below are the details of both aircraft :

L/N 1435 - 747-830, RC021, serial number 37826, F/F April-26-2011, 747-8I test aircraft #2, test registration N6067U, Lufthansa #1 (NTU), selcal code CS-HP, basic LH color scheme, without lettering and LH logo, D-ABYE( NTU), Scheduled LH delivery date was September-30-2012 , however LH rejected the aircraft due the “non standard” configuration. 320 test flight hours in 84 flights. Resumed additional flight testing (tail tank, GEnx-2B PIP, NGFMS updates) at May 20 2013, flight testing out of San Bernadino (KBSD) from May 26, returned to Moses Lake at June 18 for additional low altitude tests, from June 28 at Inca Manco Cápac Intl. airport Peru (JUL/SPJL) for high altitude airport tests, returned to Moses Lake via Houston at July 10, latest flight tests are flown from Boeing Field and Moses Lake, aircraft was scheduled to be sold later, but is internally listed : TBC (The Boeing Company). Refurbishment to production standard at the KPAE flight line completed. Re-registered at December 12 2014 : N828BA. Flown to Marana (KMZJ) for storage at May 21 2015. Returned to KPAE at July 28 2017. Stored at RW11/29 at November 20th 2017. Ferried to San Antonio (KSKF) at February 16th 2018. Installed one (1)GEnx-2B/P test engine with durability improvements. Ferried to Boeing Field (KBFI) at March 03th 2018 for testing , Ferried to San Antonio (KSKF) at March 11th 2018, removed test engine and installed standard engine, Ferried to Victorville (KVCV) at June 15th 2018 for storage.

L/N 1446 - 747-8JA , RC004, serial number 40065 , BBJ customer : Saudi Crown Prince Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (Saudi Arabian Government ), test registration N458BJ, future registration HZ-HMS1 , white livery, F/F May-30-2012, Delivery date: June 29-2012, Delivery flight (N458BJ- CYVR-KSBD) date July 9-2012. Owner : Bank of Utah Trustee, Salt Lake City, Utah (Corporation). Was stored at San Bernadino . The Future of this aircraft seems to be unsure, because the Prince passed away at October 22-2011. VIP outfitting contract with Jet Aviation (Basel) was cancelled. Ferried, again with call-sign N458BJ, to Lackland AFB TX at October 06-2012. Ferry flight (N458BJ- KSKF-LFSB) to Basel -Mulhouse at December 28-2012. Aircraft was for sale. N-registration was cancelled, but later assigned again with following limitation “This aircraft's registration status may not be suitable for operation” , applicant : AL-SHIHRI ALI OWAIDAH, 29 AL-ZAWAWI ST, AL BASATEEN DISTRICT , JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia in July-August 2018. The status was again changed at November 03 2019, now again as owner is listed : BANK OF UTAH TRUSTEE.
 
CX747
Posts: 6682
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:52 pm

I could see the procurement of 747-8s that are currently sitting in the desert. I don't think currently operating 747-8s of foreign airlines will fit the bill. Too many security concerns of who has access while they sit or fly awaiting possible sale.

You almost need 747s that have been sitting in the desert, in a manner that shows no one has access to them or can access them now.

Food for thought. In the late 1980s/early 90s, the USAF bought 707s to become the E-8. You could see someone snap up say 4 747-400s that have been sitting in the desert and bid with fully refurbished jets.
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 4174
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:55 pm

CX747 wrote:
Too many security concerns of who has access while they sit or fly awaiting possible sale.


Like he Chinese presidential plane that were full of listening devices?

In reality, any spy tech that would get on board would have to get on during the mod.

For something like this, they would remove all the insulation while doing the mod. At this time they would be able to see anything that should not be there. Most if all the wiring would be removed and replaced with EMI hardened wiring.

Even the cockpit would be stripped in order to integrate military hardware.

Once EMI hardened, it would be difficult to get signal out of the airframe faraday cage. You need to have an antenna outside the fuselage and a strong power supply for the transmitter. Both of which are not easy to hide.

bt
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 8305
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:04 pm

LyleLanley wrote:
Buckeyetech wrote:
Well, the USAF has now bought a brand new simulator for the E-4 fleet.


https://www.airforcemag.com/usaf-buys-f ... day-fleet/


If that’s the case, I give the E-4 program 2 weeks until program termination.


Watch for the new BX at Offut!
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
Posts: 1144
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:20 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:49 am

And an opponent would have to somehow know that a certain commercial aircraft was going to be picked up by the USAF later to make sure all the gubbins were installed.

I doubt the USAF would have any real worries about a second hand B747-8 if they were going to tear it down to the skin when doing any tweaks.
 
User avatar
Phosphorus
Posts: 1304
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 11:38 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:15 am

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
And an opponent would have to somehow know that a certain commercial aircraft was going to be picked up by the USAF later to make sure all the gubbins were installed.

I doubt the USAF would have any real worries about a second hand B747-8 if they were going to tear it down to the skin when doing any tweaks.

Well, I agree with your main point -- a strip-down of the plane, prior to modification, would probably make the "bugging" of the plane beforehand a relatively futile affair.

On the other hand, finding a target group of aircraft for bugging would not be too impossible.

If the opponent knows USAF plans to pick a few used airline 747-8i for E-4 conversion, they need to infiltrate exactly three airlines. (One of them Air China, BTW).
Now, if the infiltration is done correctly, we can assume the moles have influence on not only enabling the bugging, but also on determining which part of the fleet is potentially for sale. So they don't need to bug all 45 or so planes, 4 at each of the 3 airlines would suffice...
 
CX747
Posts: 6682
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:55 am

Phosphorus wrote:
ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
And an opponent would have to somehow know that a certain commercial aircraft was going to be picked up by the USAF later to make sure all the gubbins were installed.

I doubt the USAF would have any real worries about a second hand B747-8 if they were going to tear it down to the skin when doing any tweaks.

Well, I agree with your main point -- a strip-down of the plane, prior to modification, would probably make the "bugging" of the plane beforehand a relatively futile affair.

On the other hand, finding a target group of aircraft for bugging would not be too impossible.

If the opponent knows USAF plans to pick a few used airline 747-8i for E-4 conversion, they need to infiltrate exactly three airlines. (One of them Air China, BTW).
Now, if the infiltration is done correctly, we can assume the moles have influence on not only enabling the bugging, but also on determining which part of the fleet is potentially for sale. So they don't need to bug all 45 or so planes, 4 at each of the 3 airlines would suffice...


While I don't know if it will stop "used" procurement, it is definitely something that will be massively addressed. This isn't like buying a used 737NG to do the mission. Good luck to the other side figuring that out.

When they purchased used 707s for the E-8 they were plentiful.

It was so "easy" to procure through quiet methods. By the time someone figured out where they were really going, they were already in "safe" hands.
 
acecrackshot
Posts: 215
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2020 4:22 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:23 pm

texl1649 wrote:
With space-based communications at this point I don’t really understand how much value a widebody on orbit at 40K feet really offers. Certainly no need for an A380/747 size platform.


If there is a mission where space-based everything is going be stressed its nuclear command and control.

At the end of the day, the USAF's only real no-fail mission is the nuke mission.

A Nightwatch replacement will be funded.
 
acecrackshot
Posts: 215
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2020 4:22 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:26 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
LyleLanley wrote:
Buckeyetech wrote:
Well, the USAF has now bought a brand new simulator for the E-4 fleet.


https://www.airforcemag.com/usaf-buys-f ... day-fleet/


If that’s the case, I give the E-4 program 2 weeks until program termination.


Watch for the new BX at Offut!


Its funny, because its true.

At least the sim will not have the E-4s out doing pattern work, which breaks my heart as a taxpayer.
 
aristoenigma
Posts: 213
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:28 pm

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Sun Jul 11, 2021 10:59 pm

https://sites.google.com/site/lhgroupfleet/home

I might be reading too much in to this but LH has reactivated three 744s (LN 1143, LN 1237 LN 1293) according to the above site.. Three 748-i aircraft (LN 1498, LN 1497 LN1500) are remaining in storage. Could these stored later builds be a possibility for USAF E-4C? Even though LN 1435 was sold and sounds already designated to be a VIP maybe there is still a backroom discussion with the purchaser along with a look see of LN 1446?.
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 27675
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Mon Jul 12, 2021 2:52 pm

Until I see a line item in a FY 202x Defense Budget stating the E-4 replacement has been funded through a purchase of 747-8s from an existing operator, I refuse to believe such a purchase is being considered by the USAF and by extension refuse to believe any random change in status of an airline or VIP 747-8 is a sign that the USAF has secured it for use as an E-4 replacement.

Considering the sheer amount of work being done to field-strip the Transaero NTUs to rebuild them for the VC-25B and considering how much more work would need to be done for an E-4 class airframe, I continue to believe that the USAF will source new-build 767-2Cs for the role and build them from the frame up rather than convert a passenger or freighter 747 or 777 airframe.
 
fsnuffer
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:38 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Wed Jul 14, 2021 2:01 am

Stitch wrote:
I continue to believe that the USAF will source new-build 767-2Cs for the role and build them from the frame up rather than convert a passenger or freighter 747 or 777 airframe.


The airframe has little to do with what will be selected as a replacement. It will come down to electrical generating capacity. In the end they may need to part out capability to multiple aircraft but if they want to keep it on a single aircraft it will need to be a 747 class airframe.
 
User avatar
Slug71
Posts: 1530
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:08 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Wed Jul 14, 2021 4:16 am

fsnuffer wrote:
Stitch wrote:
I continue to believe that the USAF will source new-build 767-2Cs for the role and build them from the frame up rather than convert a passenger or freighter 747 or 777 airframe.


The airframe has little to do with what will be selected as a replacement. It will come down to electrical generating capacity. In the end they may need to part out capability to multiple aircraft but if they want to keep it on a single aircraft it will need to be a 747 class airframe.


Maybe, but I doubt it. Power consumption requirements have dropped considerably with today's electronics. The massive gains in processing power has also allowed many things to become much smaller, and multi-functional. This in turn means less hardware required to do the same tasks, and lower costs. The 767-2C is already fitted for inflight refueling, and is EMP hardened.
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 4174
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Wed Jul 14, 2021 1:03 pm

Slug71 wrote:
Power consumption requirements have dropped considerably with today's electronics.


True, but even so we have alreasy learned how to power huge radars and massive electronic suite using a twin. See 767 AWACS, E-7 and P-8A with AAS.

If you think about it, the amount of energy saved by switching from the CRT monitors to LCD on the E-4B alone would make up for any short fall in power production of a twin. The only lacking is the floor space.


bt

PS. A while back our company replaced all of our 19" LCD monitors with 24" LED monitor all in the name of energy saving. :)
 
User avatar
Slug71
Posts: 1530
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:08 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Wed Jul 14, 2021 2:48 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
Power consumption requirements have dropped considerably with today's electronics.


True, but even so we have alreasy learned how to power huge radars and massive electronic suite using a twin. See 767 AWACS, E-7 and P-8A with AAS.

If you think about it, the amount of energy saved by switching from the CRT monitors to LCD on the E-4B alone would make up for any short fall in power production of a twin. The only lacking is the floor space.


bt

PS. A while back our company replaced all of our 19" LCD monitors with 24" LED monitor all in the name of energy saving. :)


Good point.
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 4174
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Wed Jul 14, 2021 2:57 pm

Slug71 wrote:
The massive gains in processing power has also allowed many things to become much smaller, and multi-functional.


An example of this can be found even on the P-8A. All mission system data recording is now done by the upgraded mission computing system. Before that it was spread out among 3 systems with their own sets of drives and recording LRU's.

bt
 
fsnuffer
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:38 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Wed Jul 14, 2021 9:41 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
The massive gains in processing power has also allowed many things to become much smaller, and multi-functional.


An example of this can be found even on the P-8A. All mission system data recording is now done by the upgraded mission computing system. Before that it was spread out among 3 systems with their own sets of drives and recording LRU's.

bt


Agreed the electronics have all come down on power but the amount of power required for the ELF and VLF radios to talk to the boomers is staggering. Also on a cynical note, all the recent SECDEFs have gotten used to using the E4-B as their aircraft of choice when they are traveling outside CONUS.
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 2620
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Thu Jul 15, 2021 3:02 am

fsnuffer wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
The massive gains in processing power has also allowed many things to become much smaller, and multi-functional.


An example of this can be found even on the P-8A. All mission system data recording is now done by the upgraded mission computing system. Before that it was spread out among 3 systems with their own sets of drives and recording LRU's.

bt


Agreed the electronics have all come down on power but the amount of power required for the ELF and VLF radios to talk to the boomers is staggering. Also on a cynical note, all the recent SECDEFs have gotten used to using the E4-B as their aircraft of choice when they are traveling outside CONUS.


Do they talk directly to the boomers? The Jim Creek transmitter was 1.2 mW, I believe it is improved as the emergency generator bid a few years ago was for two 1.2 mW diesel generators. Further, the antenna has (10) cables each a mile to 1.6 miles long. Messages for the ELF are relayed to the command center who then sends to the subs. It is only one way, basically a Morse Code type of a signal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Creek ... io_Station

With all of the mission systems integration a lot of data will be from other radars in the fleet, not just on this plane. Not sure why anything more radar wise is needed vs the AN/APG-82 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar that is going onto the F-15ex.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/4 ... -behind-it

With the interest in adding com systems to the KC-46 it would make sense that for the E-4B to on the same platform, minus the plumbing.
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 4174
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Thu Jul 15, 2021 3:22 am

fsnuffer wrote:
the electronics have all come down on power but the amount of power required for the ELF and VLF radios to talk to the boomers is staggering


This is true for all voice transmitting radios as well. Digitizing the signal help, but the amount of power needed to send signal long distances is bound by physics.

bt
 
chiki
Posts: 381
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:32 pm

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Wed Sep 29, 2021 6:19 pm

Seems USAF interested in E7 according to flightglobal
https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing ... 76.article

Sent from my SM-J415F using Tapatalk
 
User avatar
keesje
Posts: 14603
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2001 2:08 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Thu Sep 30, 2021 5:35 pm

Not sure price or efficiency are really important here. The budget must be spend. Together with the AF1 it could have some commonality & size matters.
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 27675
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

Re: USAF looking for an E-4B replacement

Thu Sep 30, 2021 6:01 pm

The Nuclear Triad is controlled from 707s (E-6A Mercury) and 9/11 showed the shortcomings of the original VC-25A communication suite. I presume it was updated and I also presume the VC-25B communication suite is even more capable so the need for a dedicated 747-sized Battle Management platform is likely far less now than it was 50 years ago during the height of the Cold War. The President aboard either a VC-25B connected to an "E-7" or aboard an "E-7" should be able to prosecute a nuclear strike.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos